The speaker told the congregation about a rowing team she was on in college.
The rowers sit with their backs to the goal, facing a person.at the end of the boat.
The rowers’ job is to row, following the directions of that person,
And the person who faces forward guides the rowers to the finish line
In their final race, with qualifying heats over, they finally were neck and neck,
When their guide crashed them into a bridge.
Her text was God’s words “for I know the plans I have for you…”
Using her illustration, God sits at the end of the boat
And we are the rowers who have our backs to the goal.
We cannot see what is coming but the one facing forward, God,
Knows the future and directs us from that point of view
We talk about stepping into the future, facing the future,
But really all we know is the present and past,
So in reality, we are facing the past and stepping backwards into the future.
All we really have is hope, trust,
And faith in someone who will not crash us into a bridge.
Starting with Old Testament stories, through Revelations,
We gain an understanding of how we can expect God to handle our trust.
And if we insist on crashing into bridges, which we sometimes do,
God doesn’t withdraw,
But allows the trouble and then supplies wisdom and strength to endure.
As I consider the past, I can trust that the God who worked then still sees the future.
He still knows the plans for a hopeful future he had for them, us – me –
Have not changed since he first promised Israel’s exiles he had one.
And he will hear my prayers for courage when
– keeping my eyes on him – I step backwards into the future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray I will listen.”